NI: Prison service apologises to solicitor asked to remove Irish language lapel badge
The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) has apologised to a solicitor who was asked to remove a lapel badge for Irish language speakers before entering Maghaberry Prison.
Jim McGinnis, head of the prison law department at Carlin Solicitors, was asked to remove the badge while going through security at the prison this week, The Irish News reports.
Mr McGinnis and colleague Aiden Carlin were visiting the prison to meet with two clients.
After refusing the remove the lapel badge, known as a fáinne, he was asked to leave.
Mr McGinnis said: “Having refused to remove the fáinne óir I returned to the office and we initiated judicial review proceedings in the High Court to obtain a declaration that the decision of the prison service was unlawful, unreasonable and discriminatory.”
However, the prison service later apologised to Mr McGinnis in writing.
A spokesperson for the Prison Service said: “This should not have happened and the Prison Service has offered an unreserved apology to Mr McGinnis.”
Mr McGinnis added: “We accept that they acknowledged that this should not have happened and they got it wrong and we reckon that this is probably one of the fastest apologies they ever got out.
“It should not have happened and you have to remember we were going in to consult with two clients, both of whom were in need of our assistance.”